The season-long slump for the Boston University men’s soccer team continued Saturday afternoon against Lafayette College, as the Terriers sustained their sixth loss in eight matches, losing by a score of 2-0.
Junior forward Dominique Badji, who has emerged as a standout during the Terriers’ (4-8-1, 1-4-0 Patriot League) struggles, led the team with a game-high five shots, including two on goal. Other standouts against the Leopards (4-3-6, 2-3-0 Patriot League) included freshman midfielder David Asbjornsson, senior forward Ali Sozeri and sophomore forward Lucas McBride, who each had one shot on goal respectively.
In both Saturday’s game against Lafayette and an Oct. 12 win over Lehigh University, Badji was dynamic on both ends of the field, despite strong defense from the opposition.
“[Badji] needs to score goals for us,” said BU coach Neil Roberts following the victory over Lehigh. “Dom does a lot for us, but what we need from him is his goal production, whether he’s setting up goals or scoring goals. He’s playing well, he’s healthy.”
The Leopards came out of the gates prepared, generating the first three shots of the game in the opening 19 minutes. After a flurry of shots from Lafayette, Leopard freshman Ryan Egan scurried the ball past the Terrier defenders to forward Jeff McLaughlin, who tapped the ball past a diving redshirt freshman goalkeeper Matt Gilbert from 20 feet out, although the Terriers were seen asking the referees for an offside on McLaughlin, who appeared to be pushing the line on the goal.
The Terriers’ first opportunities were a corner kick in the 32nd minute and an Asbjornsson shot in the 39th, but the corner led to nothing and Asbjornsson’s chance was stopped by goalie Nathan McDonald.
Tempers began to flare for both teams after a display of strong effort and hustle from Lafayette forward Chandler Fraser-Pauls against junior midfielder Cameron Souri, as Pauls was able draw a corner kick. Fraser-Pauls appeared to jaw at some of the BU players following the play, angering some of the Terriers. The drama distracted the Terriers from the game on the field, as it led to a foul that set up a free kick for Leopard midfielder Bryan White.
The foul proved costly as White set up forward Tom McCutcheon, who redirected the ball inside the far post past Gilbert for the second goal of the game. Gilbert had no chance to save the ball, which was past him before he could react to the shot.
The Terriers got once last chance at the end of the half, as Sozeri took a shot for the Terriers in the 45th minute but it went high of goal.
An aggressive Leopards team ended the first half having outshot the Terriers by a 9-3 margin.
Although the Terriers came out of the second half slowly, Badji got off a header shot from 50th minute of the game, but McDonald made a save to preserve the shutout. McDonald made another fantastic stop on a shot from Asbjornsson eight minutes after the Badji opportunity. The goalie’s fantastic match was capped off by a save on a shot from McBride just at the end of regulation, closing out a 2-0 Leopard win.
Overall, BU trailed Lafayette in shots 14-11, but was even with the Leopards in corner kicks with five.
The Terriers’ next challenge comes in the form of Loyola University-Maryland, who come into the Oct. 26 contest having lost three straight games while sporting a 5-6-2 overall record and a 0-4-1 mark in Patriot League play.